Academic Areas of Special Consideration


International Education Programs

In consideration of the importance that international education plays today in the personal and professional development of students, and in partial fulfillment of its Mission to endow all students with a global education, St. Mary's University encourages students to participate in any of the international programs abroad available to them. St. Mary’s officers numerous locations to study abroad. Juniors, sophomores and selected second semester freshmen are encouraged to participate in the fall semester in London, England or the spring semester in Madrid, Spain as a community of St. Mary’s students will travel with you.

We also offer programs in other locations for a semester or year. Exchange programs in South Korea, Brazil, China, and Japan offer economical opportunities for students just to name a few. The Center for International Programs Office can help you discover the right location for you and your academic needs and scholarships are available.

St. Mary's students who earn academic credit from a university outside the United States will have that credit transferred back to St. Mary's University provided a satisfactory grade of C or better is earned. The credit earned will be posted to the student's St. Mary's University transcript as 'credit earned' and will be applied to satisfactory degree progress. The grade earned by the student while attending the university outside of the United States will only appear on the student's transcript of that university. If students need a transcript from the overseas college or university, they will be responsible for making this request directly to that institution. 

The Center for International Programs Office requires that students spend at least one semester on St. Mary’s University campus before going abroad. Students are discouraged from studying abroad in their last semester on campus as this may delay graduation. If this is something that you are considering, please contact the Center for International Program’s Study Abroad Office for further information.

Information Technology Proficiency

St. Mary’s University established standards for basic Information Technology Proficiency (ITP) that all undergraduate students must meet. This requirement ensures that our graduates are able to use computers to acquire, organize, and communicate information in a digital environment and to understand the ethical and legal implications in using information in this technical format.

First-time freshmen must fulfill the Information Technology Proficiency Requirement as determined by each academic major department.

  • Greehey School of Business majors:

Business majors will fulfill the Information Technology Proficiency Requirement through the completion of courses found in the Common Body of Business Knowledge.

  • School of Science, Engineering and Technology majors:

Majors in the School of Science, Engineering and Technology will fulfill the Information Technology Proficiency Requirement through the completion of courses in their major.

  • School of Humanities and Social Sciences:

Majors in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences will fulfill the Information Technology Proficiency Requirement through the completion of courses in their major.

Writing Across the Curriculum

St. Mary's emphasis on academic excellence in all scholarly areas commits the university to an integrated approach to teaching those skills essential to the acquisition of knowledge. Writing is a necessary part of this learning process and a valuable communication skill. In addition to core curriculum requirements, all departments at the university require participation in writing-intensive courses in both the junior and senior years. A writing-intensive course meets the following criteria:

  1. At least 50% of the course grade is based on written assignments;
  2. Course requirements include one or more formal written assignments totaling at least 2500 words in which the professional quality of the work is an explicit factor in the final evaluation;
  3. Opportunities to revise or rewrite -- activities crucial to the improvement of writing skills -- are provided.

Courses and/or sections designated with a "Writing Intensive" attribute in the course schedule meet the writing intensive criteria.

Foreign Languages Across the Curriculum

Recognizing the need for graduates to show proof of their abilities in foreign languages without being either a Language or MOS major, St. Mary's has instituted a "Foreign Languages Across the Curriculum" program. To be certified students who wish to participate in the program must have completed sophomore level proficiency in the language targeted. By taking special additions to courses offered in their majors, or other interests, students may earn credits towards "Advanced Foreign Language Competency in (Language)" designation on their transcripts upon completing six units under this program. Students may take courses offered entirely in the target language for three (3) or two (2) units. They may also take LN courses of one (1) unit of credit which are attached as "trailers" to courses conducted in English in virtually all the disciplines. Introduction to Computer Science, e. g., might have a "trailer" attached to it entitled "LN 1133 Computer Science Terminology in Spanish" giving one unit of Advanced Foreign Language Competency (as well as one semester hour of credit) for certification. The Language Department administers the program and keeps a file on each participant. After a student has completed six FLAC units, the Chair sends a form to the Dean of Humanities & Social Sciences, who certifies the individual and in forms the Registrar of this fact.

Pre-Professional Curricula

In addition to the various degree programs offered by the Schools of the University, St. Mary's also offers curricula that are pre-professional in scope and that are tailored for acceptance by professional schools.


In addition to the five four-year Engineering programs offered at St. Mary's, the University offers a two- year pre-engineering program which incorporates the core curriculum of the Texas State Coordinating Board. Successful completion of this program makes students eligible for acceptance by schools of engineering to which they may apply. Requirements for the freshman and sophomore years are outlined in the Engineering Department of the School of Science, Engineering and Technology.


A completed bachelor's degree is required for entrance into the St. Mary's University School of Law as candidate for the Juris Doctor degree. The pre-law student may choose his/her degree, whether from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, the School of Science, Engineering and Technology or from the Greehey School of Business and may make his/her own choice of major and minors.

Health Sciences

The University, through its Departments of Biological Sciences and Chemistry, offers a variety of pre-professional programs in the health sciences: pre-medicine, pre-dentistry, pre-optometry, pre-pharmacy, pre-physical therapy, pre-podiatry, pre-nursing, and pre-veterinary medicine.  Details of these programs can be obtained from the Pre-Health Professions Advisor in the Department of Biological Sciences.

For some of the pre-health programs, it is possible for the student to complete three years at St. Mary's and then receive a degree upon the completion of a fourth year in an accredited health science program.  Please refer to the Pre-Health Professional Programs located here:

VA Academic Standards

Benefits (Four-Year Programs)

Note: The criteria listed below do not necessarily agree with the academic averages required by St. Mary's University. All students must meet the requirements of the University. The paragraphs below are the V.A. guidelines to determine satisfactory progress.

Satisfactory Progress

Students who are receiving VA educational benefits must make satisfactory progress toward the completion of their approved degree plan; otherwise, they risk the possibility of the suspension of their benefits. VA students must maintain satisfactory academic progress according to the policies that apply to all St. Mary's University students.


A student who is receiving VA educational benefits and who fails to achieve the required GPAs based on the hours attempted shall be placed on probation. The policies for probation that apply to all St. Mary's University students will apply to VA students.

Unsatisfactory Progress

A student who fails to maintain the prescribed standards of progress shall be reported to the VA Regional Office as making unsatisfactory progress and thereby risk benefit payments' being discontinued. The policies for unsatisfactory progress that apply to all St. Mary's University students will apply to VA students.

Satisfactory Conduct & Attendance

In order to receive VA educational benefits, VA students must maintain satisfactory conduct and must maintain satisfactory attendance. Satisfactory conduct and satisfactory attendance are the regularly prescribed standards and practices that apply to all St. Mary's University students.